E-procurement Systems in K12 Schools in the US
To determine e-procurement in K-12 schools, there is a need to compare at the OPS and CXML, market size for e-procurement, how many K12 schools, districts, independents, and charters use OPS, CMXL, and other e-procurement systems, especially for purchasing online classes, the most popular based on school type and the total amount that flows through these systems.
- The market for e-procurement especially in American schools continue to widen because of key drivers such as cost savings, shorter purchasing cycles, improved inventory control, transparency, better inventory tracking, supplier management, order fulfillment, and document management. When implemented properly, e-procurement can improve the lines of communication between a supplier and an institution through direct link and facilitating interactions such as purchase orders, bids and emails.
- The procurement software market size is expected to grow to $9.96 billion by the end of 2023. By deployment, e-procurement market size has been segmented into on-cloud and on-premise. The former is expected to exhibit a 10.5% CAGR over the assessment period. Further, the software market has been segmented into spend analysis, e-procurement, e-sourcing, contract, and supplier management. The main drivers for e-procurement market growth in institutions such as schools include; enhanced transparency, low-cost transactions, and better time management. The market, by vertical, has been segmented into various industries and sectors, including education.
- It is estimated that the online procurement systems (OPS) will bring approximately $5.94 billion in total revenue by the end of 2021. The market is expected to grow slowly but steadily in the future, with an annual growth rate of 2.3%, as the demand for easier purchasing, receiving, and payment services increases.
- Today, institutions such as schools are embracing e-procurement systems depending on their individual needs. More K-12 school districts are adopting a decentralized procurement approach, which has more advantages than the traditional centralized procurement methods. The decentralized e-procurement method has proven to be a cost-saving method as it narrows down to purchases based on individual requirements. As a result, there are more rollouts, and less waste as only the necessary products end up in classrooms. E&I Cooperative Services and Omnia partners are some e-procurement platforms that have continued to smoothen OPS in K12 schools.
Other Popular e-procurement Systems
- Dolibarr is a procurement software ideal for institutions, including public, private and charter schools, regardless of the district. The system is easy to use and has a wide range of features ideal for sales, invoicing, stock-taking, purchase orders, expense reports, and accounting.
- Precoro is an all-in-one purchasing software ideal for small to mid-sized institutions. Some of its advantages include money-saving and time-saving skills as it eliminates manual work. Some of its outstanding features include; compliance and inventory management, invoice processing, spend management, and sourcing management.
- Fraxion is a software system that is ideal for institutions such as schools. The system integrates buyers and suppliers to conduct business through compliant purchasing, within a budget, and at pre-negotiated prices based on order value. Its outstanding feature is end-to-end purchasing workflows, which helps Fraxion streamline purchasing and receiving and prepare the accounts team for accurate payments.
- Unlike commerce extensible markup language (CXML), which is complicated due to its protocol used for communication of documents, online procurement systems (OPS) are less complicated and user-friendly, making them even more popular. However, just like e-procurement systems, CXML comes in handy for institutions looking to preserve data and track procurement PunchOut, a protocol that manages sessions across the internet.
- In the US, both federal and state guidelines must be adhered to, whether using CXML or OPS. Often, K12 has a smaller budget than higher education institutions, making it easier for K12 to adhere to procurement protocol, regardless of the system used. Naturally, these protocols have made procurement in education a complicated issue due to the fragmented approach.
- OPS is easier and faster compared to CXML, especially for teachers and school administrators. However, OPS can still be cumbersome, especially during the bidding process, as it can take weeks and sometimes months for a school district to solicit and approve the bids. As a result, these processes can significantly delay the purchase of important school supplies. More teachers have had issues combing through a wish list of items and looking up multiple supplier sites, pulling product information, and sending emails to purchasing office.
- The Newark Education Board has a procurement team committed to timely acquisition and distribution of quality items in public schools. Through an OPS known as the e-Supplier portal, the procurement team allows various vendors to participate in the procurement process. OPS vendors are invited to perform electronic inquiries about invoices, purchase orders, invoices, and payments.
- In Georgia, the Cherokee County School District uses both OPS and CXML methods to obtain and provide high-quality products and services in the most cost-effective, professional, and ethical procurement practices. The procurement services seek to meet the needs of the students, faculty, and staff. In this case, OPS and CXML vendors compete through negotiation, competitive pricing, and contract buying.
In an attempt to provide the requirements of this research, the research team explored various reliable sources such as official government websites such as the US Department of Education, National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES), and Data.gov, in addition to reliable sources such as Public Procurement Information Portal, Forbes, the Economist, and Fortune. However, we encountered several challenges, such as finding the existing e-procurement systems for K12. Therefore, we supplemented with a few e-procurement systems for different market sectors and their flexible features. Also, we could not find the exact number or the size of K12 schools, districts, independents, and charters that use OPS, CXML, or other e-procurement systems, especially for online classes. Instead, we found and listed some school boards and districts that are proactively using e-procurement services. Lastly, we could not find the most popular based on school type nor the total amount of money that flows through these systems; instead, we found the market size-procurement industry overview, projection, and CAGR for e-procurement systems in the US.